- LONDON (AP) -- Israel is trying to identify genes carried only by Arabs
that could be used to develop a biological weapon that would harm Arabs
but not Jews, the Sunday Times reported.
- The newspaper attributed its report to
unidentified Israeli military and Western intelligence sources. It said
Israeli scientists are working to create a genetically modified bacterium
or virus that only attacks people who carry certain genes.
- The paper said the weapon is seen as
Israel's response to the threat of chemical and biological warfare from
Iraq and could be spread by air or through the water supply.
- The newspaper said the program is based
at the biological institute in Nes Tziyona, which it described as the main
research facility for Israel's chemical and biological weapons. According
to the report, researchers have pinpointed "a characteristic in the
genetic profile of certain Arab communities, particularly the Iraqi people.''
- The idea of such research has provoked
controversy in Israel because of parallels with the genetic experiments
at Auschwitz by Nazi scientist Dr. Josef Mengele during World War II, the
- "Morally, based on our history,
and our tradition and our experience, such a weapon is monstrous and should
be denied,'' Israeli parliament member Dedi Zucker is quoted as saying.
- Officials at Porton Down, Britain's biological
defense facility, said such weapons were theoretically possible, the newspaper
- ADL Calls Times of London Story on Israel
- Source: US Newswire
- NEW YORK, Nov. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Anti-Defamation
League (ADL) today expressed outrage at the Sunday Times of London for
publishing a story claiming that Israel is developing biological weapons
that will harm only Arabs, but not Jews. In a front-page story published
on Nov. 15, the newspaper cited unnamed sources and the publication Foreign
Report as originating the story. The story has since been spread by newswires
and syndicated news agencies to media outlets across the United States.
- The Times' story is "irresponsible and dangerous,"
said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. "Based on shady unnamed
sources and referring to a publication that has a history of putting out
dubious information, the venerable Sunday Times of London presented speculation
and hearsay as a fact."
- Foxman went on to say that, "Unfortunately, this
sensational story is reminiscent of the age-old anti-Semitic blood libel
myth of Jews deviously targeting non-Jews with poison, while protecting
their own. Instead of the medieval poisoning of young Christian children,
the story has Israel-developed biological weaponry targeting Arabs."
- The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the
- leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs
- services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
- Contact: Myrna Shinbaum, 212-885-7747, and
- Tracy Gary, 212-885-7715, both of
- Anti-Defamation League
- c. 1998, U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770
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